ATARI 6502 VECTOR HARDWARE
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|Main CPU : 6502
Sound : Discrete
Emulators : MAME
|Bradley Trainer / Army Battlezone
|Cabinets : Controls and Collage
|Boards : PCB 1 - PCB 2 - PCB 3 - PCB 4
|Notes : The tank is not under the player's control. The tank moves by itself and you control the turret as it was designed to only train gunners.
The gameplay is very much a simulation. The other tanks do not fire at you, and the only way to end the game is to run out of ammo or shoot a 'friendly' tank or helicopter.
The Turret is controlled by a 'Star Wars' style yoke controller. It turns the guns and lets you change the elevation of the gun.
There are 3 type of weapons - 25mm cannon ; 7.62 mm coaxially mounted machine gun; TOW missile launcher with twin tubes.
The upper left of the bezel hold the Range control, and also the magnification switch.
The range control sets the height of the gun before you launch rockets or shoot the machine gun.
The magnification switch changes your view from 3x to 10x.
On the right side of the bezel, there is a switch for arming the TOW missiles. Once you fire these missiles, you can guide them with the 'laser' sights. You can steer the missile into targets, or into the ground if you overshoot the target.
At the lower right near the yoke, are 7 buttons for selecting the 'AP' (armor piercing) rounds, or the 'HE' High Explosive rounds. You also have the choice of 'SS' single Shot or 'CF' Continuous Fire modes. You can also switch to the '7.62mm' machine gun also. It usually takes one hit from a TOW missile, 5 from the rockets/shells, or 10-20 from a machine gun to bring down an enemy. Some tanks can only be shot with the TOW missile. The helicopter is the most difficult target to destroy.
|Mike Querio - Industrial Designer for Atari;
The Star Wars control used on the sit-down and upright cabinets was engineered in-house at Atari. But its first application was on Army Battlezone, not Star Wars. I believe we only built 2 or 3 of the Army version prototypes. Production Battlezone used simple two stick Caterpillar tractor type controls. Very intuitive and pretty sturdy. But for the Army version that wouldn't do. The Army version was all about teaching and entertaining at the same time. The teaching requirement meant we needed to simulate as close as possible the environment of a current Army tank interior. Tanks hadn't used the old two-stick controls in years apparently.
As the assigned Industrial Designer on the project it fell to me to experience a tank interior, take notes and measurements of control types and locations. The vehicle the Army had us use for inspiration was the then new Bradley Fighting Vehicle. I obtained clearance and was escorted to a unit and allowed to measure, sketch and take notes but not photograph the controls and interior. It was from those notes that Atari developed our own version of the tank main control for Army Battlezone. As I recall the control was not used on Battlezone for cost reasons. The Army Battlezone version was quite complex with several buttons and multiple triggers on the grips. The control was later simplified for Star Wars use.
It was a real treat to see the control piece finally make it to a production arcade game. I believe at the time it was the most complex game control we had done.
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